Internship Programs in England
Guide to getting an internship in England
Interning in England is a great opportunity for international students and recent graduates to stand out among job applicants. Ranked as the sixth-largest economy in the world, the United Kingdom is now, more than ever, a premier destination for international students looking to intern abroad and gain experience at leading companies.
Read on to learn about the top industries in England, where to go, and when to apply to find the perfect internship placement for you.
Internships are available in practically every field but these industries are among the most popular industries in England for international students.
- Business: As the world headquarters for many large international corporations, England has always been a major hub in the business world. Interns can do anything from business analytics to supply chain management.
- Finance: London is one of the most important financial capitals in the world, giving interns access to top firms and fintech startups.
- Law: The common law system practiced in England and the wider UK is also practiced in the US, Australia, Canada, India, and other countries that are former colonies. This makes it a great place for law students and graduates to gain international legal experience within a familiar context.
- Media & communications: Marketing and communications are ever-growing fields and England is an exciting place to learn more about them. Students are able to intern with public relations firms, ad agencies, and news publications.
Best cities to intern in England
England is full of amazing places with opportunities for internships. Here are some of the most popular cities for interns.
- London has the most opportunities for students looking for internship opportunities in the nation. A variety of international and local companies are based in London, thus making it the perfect city for students looking to find internships in fields like law, business, and journalism.
- Manchester, sometimes regarded as the “London of the North”, is a great location for interns in the creative fields along with marketing, communications, and engineering.
- Birmingham is England’s second-largest city behind London and is home to fine dining and culture. Interns can find work experience in tourism, hospitality, and healthcare, one of its biggest industries.
- Liverpool is a manufacturing city known for its music (The Beatles!) and sports scenes. If you are looking for opportunities in clean energy, engineering, or business, then this coastal city might be the place for you.
Where to find internships in England
While you can find international internships in English through various online job board sites, internship program providers like those listed below can take the legwork out of the experience. Program providers have links to companies that are often multi-nationals and leaders in their field.
The program providers listed on GO work with you to arrange the perfect internship placement and assist you with things like visa processing and securing accommodation while you’re abroad.
How to apply to internships in England
While requirements may differ depending on the company or industry, you can expect to follow the following steps to land an internship in England.
- Check that you meet the eligibility requirements. Many internships in England do not require a specific field of study which is great if you want to try something new or aren’t enrolled in a degree program. Usually, candidates need native or near-native level (C1-C2) English.
- Prepare your application materials. You’ll want to update your resume (CV), cover letter, and portfolio, and write a personal statement to make your application shine.
- Submit any necessary documents or paperwork. You may need to send copies of academic transcripts from your home university and letters of recommendation.
- Ace the interview! Be sure to dress professionally and practice some basic interview questions with a friend or family member.
- Apply for a visa. Depending on the length of your internship and the type of program (paid vs. unpaid), you might need to apply for a visa. Consult with your program provider or the local UK consulate to learn more.
Work culture and etiquette tips in England
Knowing a little about the work culture, and social etiquette will make your transition as an intern in England a lot smoother!
Work culture & etiquette tips to keep in mind:
- Workplaces in England place high importance on teamwork and tend to be sociable both in the office and out, with outings to the pub after work being regular occurrences. Don’t forget to buy a round of drinks when it’s your turn!
- Politeness is regularly observed in England and the wider UK and “please” and “thank you” are used often throughout the day.
- Try to avoid asking questions that can be interpreted as too personal.
- Interns should be punctual and professional as this is a major British workplace value.
- While English speakers generally won’t have any issues communicating with colleagues or locals they meet in their day-to-day lives, there are differences in vocabulary and various regional accents.
Can I intern in the UK as a US citizen?
Yes, US citizens can intern in the UK as long as they have the proper visa. Internship program providers can help you secure a position with employer sponsorship that will allow you to apply for the Government Authorised Exchange visa.
What visa do I need to intern in the UK?
To intern in the UK you will need a Government Authorised Exchange visa which is valid for up to 12 or 24 months. You are required to show proof of employer sponsorship to secure this visa.
Should I pay to intern in England?
Paying to intern in England can provide many benefits and may make the entire experience smoother. Internship program providers match you with suitable employers in your desired field, support you through the visa process, and help you find accommodation if it isn't provided in your program fees.
Are internships paid in the UK?
If an intern is classified as a worker in the UK, they are entitled to the national minimum wage which starts at $9.37 USD (£7.49) for 18 to 20-year-olds. Positions classified as student internships, work experience placements, voluntary work, or shadowing are legally unpaid.